Do Over, Session 2: The Hope in Samson’s Story

By Chip Henderson

samsonIf you’re feeling beaten down because of your sin, now’s the time to grasp on to some hope from Samson’s story. Let’s look at how Samson experienced new, fresh hope.

1. He called to God.

We catch a glimpse of God’s grace when Samson’s hair began to grow again. It’s likely that Samson finally recognized there was one person who had never given up on him, one person who had constantly been there and who had the power to help—so Samson called out to God.

The grace of God is amazing. God had every right to ignore Samson’s prayer, but God not only listened to Samson’s request, He graciously answered that prayer.

2. He humbled himself.

Samson had always been the proud type, but now we see him pleading for God’s help. When he found himself in a defenseless situation, he understood his need for God more than ever before.

Samson’s prayer, however, contains a lingering hint of selfishness: His request was ultimately about personal revenge. But at the end of the day, Samson was acknowledging that his strength and success came only from the Lord, and if God didn’t act, Samson would not be helped.

3. He reengaged his purpose.

Samson prayed, “God, remember me.” I don’t think he was asking God to remember his many failures. I believe Samson was praying that God would remember His purpose, plan, and call on Samson’s life. In other words, Samson wanted God to accomplish through Samson what he had been set apart to do—despite Samson’s inability to do so himself.

Even though it cost Samson his life, he gladly became a martyr.

Can you relate to Samson’s life? Maybe today you’re a long way from where you used to be. You used to be a leader in your church, or you used to be married and have a family. You used to be a leader in your youth group. You used to be a virgin. You used to own your own business. You used to be so many things, but not anymore. Now the pieces of your life story lay exposed. Like Samson—shame, anger, regret, and despair darken your life.

We all know people who, in moments of bad judgment, made poor decisions that cost themselves and other people dearly.

Satan comes “only to steal and to kill and to destroy” (John 10:10). The ugly side of sin is that the consequences may mean you never get your family, your job, your ministry, or your full purpose back. But if you genuinely repent of your sin and turn to God in faith, God will forgive and begin the restoration process within you. God will use your life again. He delights to use imperfect people for two reasons. First, because that’s the only kind He has—we’re all imperfect people. Second, He works through imperfect people because He gets all the glory.

Samson’s purpose was that he was to be set apart to God and to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines. His purpose was wrapped up in the greater purpose of God. God knew the people were sinful so He allowed the enemy to capture them. But God also sent the deliverer to free them. At all times, God was and is in control and working for His purposes.

Chip-HendersonChip Henderson is the pastor of Pinelake Church in Brandon, Mississippi.

Adapted from Samson: A Life Well Wasted LifeWay Press 2013 pgs. 120-122

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